Timing of the bin Laden announcement

I had assumed that the Abbottabad operation took place on Sunday evening Eastern time.

But there was an unwitting witness to the operation who was tweeting about it live — at 1 AM Pakistan time. Sohaib Athar tweeted, “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).” This would be 4 PM EST.

Given that the on-site operation took about 40 minutes, and that includes recovering evidence about al-Qaeda operations from the scene, it was all over by 5 PM Washington time.

In fact. reports say bin Laden’s body was buried at sea at 2 AM local time, again 5 PM Washington time.

So the President waited six and a half hours to make the short historic announcement.*

Why? Was he waiting for the DNA confirmation? (DNA testing seems to take weeks in ordinary circumstances, which these, of course, weren’t.)

*There’s a ruckus now about Keith Urbahn, a former White House staffer in the Bush administration, breaking the story an hour early on Twitter, based on a TV producer’s unsubstantiated rumor.